Tag Archive: Mirabilis

Mirabalis Japala – collected seeds – 2022 – The four ‘o’ clock plant

Today, 28th March 2022, I have sown 14 seeds that I collected the last time I grew these plants. Apparently that was 2018!!!! I wish that I had looked at my old posts first as I had already sown them only to read that I shouldn’t have excluded light as in nature they drop to the ground and germinate in the light.

They are on the windowsill here in my office so the pot has lots of light but I did put a sprinkle of compost over them and put them in a polythene bag. Roll on 40 days which is how long they took to germinate the last time I gave them a try. Update 23rd April 2022 – 8 seedlings already through after only 27 days. Looking good.

“Mirabilis is a genus of plants in the family Nyctaginaceae known as the four-o’clocks or umbrellaworts. The best known species may be Mirabilis jalapa, the plant most commonly called four o’clock. There are several dozen species in the genus, of herbaceous plants, mostly found in the Americas.” Wiki

I have done a search online for Mirabilis and found a picture of the dormant root of this plant. It was a hefty looking root and I fear that maybe I threw mine away in the winter not remembering what was in the pot. Lesson learned I hope. Label the pot and don’t throw any dead looking root into the compost bin. The roots or tubers I think look very much like Dahlia tubers.

Mirabilis flower
Mirabilis Seed

Mirabalis Jalapa Marbles Mix – Marvel of Peru 2017


Mirabilis Jalapa is an outstanding plant that will produce flowers that are marbled in colours of red, white and yellow. The flowers open in the early morning and evening , Sow seeds between February and April on the surface of a good quality seed compost and cover lightly,  Seeds can take up to a month to germinate. DO NOT EXCLUDE LIGHT as this helps germination.  Keep the compost moist but not waterlogged.  Once large enough to handle transplant into 3″ pots and grow on. When all risk of frost has passed plant out in Sunny well drained site with rich soil. Info, seeds and pictures from Seekay. Four-o-clocks are bushy annuals with colourful flowers and a sweet lemon or orange fragrance. They grow equally well in part shade as well as full sun. They begin flowering in midsummer when sown directly as seed, but will flower earlier if grown as transplants. The individual flowers open early in the morning and late afternoon and are also called four o clock flowers for that reason. They often will stay open until the following morning then close and die.  A single plant may contain different coloured flowers depending on the mix. M. jalapa is a bushy, tuberous perennial often grown as an annual, with fragrant flowers opening in the afternoon, in a wide range of colours, and sometimes bi coloured.

I received these seeds today and am looking forward to growing them. They sound very interesting. I plan to soak a few seeds overnight with a view to sowing in modules. I was pleased to learn that they have a  citrus scent too. I have sown these seeds today Wednesday 1st February and apparently they can take up to thirty days to germinate. Update – 12th March and there is one two inch seedling standing alone like a Meer cat on guard and quite a few seeds showing signs of growth. It was worth the forty day wait. 20th March I have potted on six strong seedlings. Update March 2018 – Only two of these seedlings made it into a decent plant and I potted them both on into 7″ pots. Update 2018 – I have sown another eight seeds. Im not sure that last years will come back. They are pretty flowers but overall I was disappointed. We will see what this year brings. Update September 2018 – Well no more disappointment. This year has given us three large bush like plants. One marbled colours, one beautiful, bright yellow and one delicate,  pale mauve colour. These plants will be in my garden every year from now on.

Another bonus is the amount of beautiful black seeds produced on this years plants.